What is Orthodontics – FAQ

Our New Jersey orthodontist, Dr. Sacks, is highly trained to straighten your teeth, fix the misalignment of your jaw (also known as malocclusion), and/or address any orthodontic needs you or your child may have.

1. What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on straightening teeth and correcting bites and jaw alignment. This branch of dentistry specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

2. What is an orthodontist?

A dentist usually refers patients with overbites, underbites, crossbites, crooked teeth, and/or misaligned jaws to an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in straightening teeth, fixing bites, and aligning jaws. Orthodontists normally complete a 2-year postdoctoral program of advanced dental education in orthodontics after finishing a 4-year dental program and a 4-year bachelor’s degree.

3. How do I know if my child needs orthodontic treatment?

Your dentist is the best resource for letting you know if your child needs orthodontic treatment. If he or she detects any indication that your child would benefit from braces, your dentist will refer your child to an orthodontist.

4. What are the early signs of orthodontic problems?

We recommend that you bring your child in for an orthodontic consultation around the age of 7, so we can evaluate and assess the need for early treatment. Indications that your child may benefit from early orthodontic treatment include:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Prolonged finger or thumb sucking
  • Jaws that shift or protrude
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Crowded, misplaced, or overlapping teeth
  • Front teeth not lining up with bottom teeth

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5. At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

Although there is not an exact age for a child’s first visit to the orthodontist, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends the first evaluation be done around the age of 7. Even though most treatments don’t start until patients are in their teens, early evaluation allows orthodontists to spot subtle problems that may require immediate or extra attention.

6. Can adults have braces?

Absolutely. Adults benefit from braces in the same way children do, and we’ve seen beautiful results in patients of all ages. The main difference between child and adult orthodontic treatment is that adults are no longer growing, so their treatments may take a bit longer.

7. Is orthodontic treatment painful?

Our patients experience no pain during the application of braces. Mild soreness may occur for a few weeks after the application process as gentle pressure is applied, moving teeth into place, but any discomfort can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen.

8. What is the duration of orthodontic treatment?

Since every patient is unique, orthodontic treatment varies as well. However, for most patients, 2 years is the amount of time required for teeth to move into the desired position. Factors, such as the severity of the patient’s case, age, and health, can affect the length of treatment.

9. What is the difference between extraction and non-extraction therapies?

If you have severe crowding or jaw discrepancy, Dr. Sacks may recommend extraction therapy, a technique in which we remove permanent teeth to make room for other teeth before applying braces. However, we adhere to a conservative philosophy at Summit Dental Partners and only extract teeth when absolutely necessary. Non-extraction therapy is when we expand a patient’s jaw and/or adjust the size and shape of teeth to allow them to fit within the jaw.

10. Is orthodontic care expensive?

At Summit Dental Partners, we make every effort to work with our patients so they can achieve the smile they deserve. We offer various financing options and payment programs, and many insurance plans include orthodontics.

If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We look forward to helping you get the beautiful smile you deserve while making sure you are comfortable every step of the way.

If you have more questions about Orthodontics, please call or text us at Summit Dental Partners Phone Number 908-499-8707.